Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a disorder which presents many challenges, both to children with CP, and to their parents. Speech therapy for cerebral palsy is often a recommended treatment, since CP is notorious for leading to speech and communication disorders. These speech problems are linked to the motor and cognitive dysfunction which is caused by CP, and proper therapy can help alleviate these symptoms and help increase the ability of the child to communicate effectively.
What Is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy as a cerebral palsy treatment can encompass many strategies, catered to the unique challenges presented in individual children. By helping children to learn to communicate with speech, gestures, and even outside aids such as communication devices, this cerebral palsy therapy can help young ones express their needs and moods, even if they were previously unable to. Additionally, conversational skills such as learning to correct mistakes or misunderstandings made in speech, and learning to ask questions or express desires, are also taught.
How Effective Is Speech Therapy?
The use of speech therapy for cerebral palsy-afflicted children has been proven effective in many scientific studies. Speech therapy which was provided in both one-on-one and group settings helped children with CP to learn expressive sentence structures, how to request objects or specific actions from another person, success in properly responding to questions, as well as other necessary communicative skills. Additionally, other studies show some support for cognitive development and increased expression in children using iconic symbols and electronic aids to help them communicate.
This unique type of cerebral palsy treatment assists not only in cognitive improvement in children, but also in better muscle control. By showing children with CP how to properly articulate words and phrases, a therapist also helps to promote improved motor skills and muscle memory for the jaw and mouth. This is important in and of itself, but also because it can assist children in their ability to chew food and breathe clearly.
Speech therapy carries a variety of benefits for children with cerebral palsy, as well as for their parents. Communication is made easier, and children can accurately articulate their wants and needs, as well as gain the syntax and vocabulary needed to hold conversations. Parents can have the joy of seeing their child break out of their shell. Clearly, speech therapy helps all those affected by cerebral palsy.